To help high school students develop a deeper understanding of energy and matter flow in biological systems, a key goal of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we have designed a series of inquiry-driven modules that experimentally explore photosynthesis in the context of carbohydrate partitioning. Carbohydrate partitioning refers to the distribution of photosynthesis products from source organs, such as leaves, to growing or storage tissues. These cost- and timeeffective modules help students develop a more integrated understanding of how energy flows from light into leaves before moving outward to other parts of the plant and ultimately into other organisms. Our approach of teaching carbohydrate partitioning along with photosynthesis greatly expands the number of NGSS core ideas and cross-cutting concepts in an integrated manner, empowers students to see how photosynthesis and carbohydrate partitioning are central to their existence, and provides a rich platform for experimentally addressing questions related to photosynthesis, crop production, global climate change, plant physiology, and the carbon cycle.
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Vol. 79 • No. 8